NERD NITE MELBOURNE EDITION #29
We are thrilled to bring you our first show for 2018 at our slick new venue and an excellent 3-speaker lineup. Speakers will be discussing how you see the world, using satellites to measure fires, as well as pain and happiness. Secure your seat for an excellent show and enjoy a $12 burger and pot Howler special whilst we get into the nerdy learning.
All the World's a Text
by Prof Lisa Given
Description: Quick - close your eyes! Picture a young nurse caring for a small child in the middle of a busy hospital. Imagine a librarian helping you to find that one book you so desperately need for a school assignment. Think of a server clearing tables in a caf after lunch. See in your mind two police officers directing traffic around an accident, while fire-fighters struggle to free a young family from their twisted car. What images come to mind? How are these people dressed? What gender are the people you see? How old are they? What is the colour of their skin? The images you see are not your own. They are the product of culture, society, history and experience. Prepare to rethink how you see the world.
Bio: Lisa is the Associate Dean, Research and Development, for the Faculty of Health, Arts and Design at Swinburne University of Technology and a Professor in Information Science. Her research explores how people use information and technologies in hospital emergency rooms, vineyards, schools, and other contexts to make decisions. Originally from Canada, she is a recent Melbourne transplant having previously spent several years with the cockatoos and kangaroos in Wagga Wagga, NSW.
Managing bushfires from space
by Dr Luke Collins
Description: What comes to mind when you think of bushfire management? Big red trucks, long hoses and water bombing aircraft named after 1950s rock stars? What if I told you that one of the most important resources for bushfire management can be found in space? Satellites orbiting the earth routinely capture images of the globe, allowing us to remotely monitor our environment at continental scales weekly. In this presentation I will discuss some of the ways that satellite images can be used to aid wildfire management, suppression and post-fire recovery.
Bio: Dr Luke Collins is a Research Fellow at La Trobe University and the Arthur Rylah Institute, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning. His research focuses on the effect of (i) climate change and ecosystem management on wildfire regimes, and (ii) the impact shifting fire regimes will have on plant and animal communities.
Three Things About Happiness That You Might Not Have Known
by Dr Brock Bastian
Description: Why are rates of mental illness and medication dependence on the rise at a time when we appear to be more focused on finding our own happiness than ever before? Why is this trend more prevalent in Western than Eastern cultures? I will present three reasons why our approach to happiness has gone wrong. Paradoxically, seeking happiness, feeling others want us to be happy, and focusing on finding pleasure in life may not only be unlikely to promote happiness, but worse still may serve to undermine it. Drawing on research that we have been conducting over the past 10 years I will show why we need to stop seeing happiness as an important goal, and why our negative and painful experiences in life are not only more important than we may think, but that in fact we need these experiences to feel any happiness at all.
Bio: Brock is Associate Professor in the School of Psychological Sciences at the University of Melbourne. His research broadly focuses on questions such as why promoting happiness may have a downside, the cultural factors leading to depression, and why valuing our negative and painful experiences in life is a critical pathway to achieving happiness. His work has been featured in outlets such as The Economist, The New Yorker, TIME, New Scientist, Scientific American, Harvard Business Review, and The Huffington Post, among many others. His innovative approach to research has been acknowledged with the Wegner Theoretical Innovation Prize. He has written for popular press outlets, such as The Conversation; delivered popular talks, such as at TEDx St Kilda, The Ethics Centre Sydney, and Effective Altruism Australia; and appeared on radio shows such as The Minefield. His first book The Other Side of Happiness is due for release by Penguin UK on 25 January 2018.